The Wellcome Trust, the world’s biggest medical research charity,
is to appoint Trish Evans as its first head of communications.
Evans is currently communications director at the National Society for
the Protection of Cruelty to Children, but leaves in July to join the
The communications job at the Wellcome Trust was created last autumn (PR
Week, 8 October) at a time when media interest in the practical results
of biomedical research such as GM foods, cloning and animal organ
transplants had reached hysterical levels.
Reporting directly to trust director Michael Dexter, Evans’ remit will
involve developing a wider communications strategy to ensure that the
rapid advances of biomedical research and the broader spectrum of trust
initiatives are effectively disseminated to both the scientific
community and the general public.
A key part of Evans’ brief will be to ensure that public debate on
controversial areas ’is informed and not irrational’. This will involve
setting up public focus groups and effectively communicating the
Evans will have responsibility for an estimated 30 staff in the trust’s
communications unit, which handles all aspects of publishing, marketing,
public affairs, and media relations.